by - Stephen Molson
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This trip would be my first to these lakes, as was taking the water taxi. I arrived at 4 pm to the docks of Opeongo Lake and made my way into the Algonquin Outfitters. After greeting the good people of the store, I met the water taxi captain and he informed me we’d be off in about 30 minutes. So I picked up the permit, a volunteer trout survey, unloaded the car, and helped secure the vessel on the taxi’s struts. Shortly thereafter we were underway up a calm Opeongo Lake.
Twenty minutes later, the taxi beached at the landing to Proulx Lake. We unfastened and unloaded the kayak. With a ‘see you in a few days’ wave to the driver, I started up the portage with the first of two loads. Someone’s discarded synthetic long-underwear and a sock greeted me along the trail as they hung limp off a branch in the still air. Ah well, I’d put them to good use on the return trip.
I was onto Proulx Lake by 6 pm and was paddling her shoreline checking campsites. I settled for one on the far eastern shore. I was the only one on the lake, and over the course of the next few days, I only encountered one other occupied site. Post-trip it turned out that site was occupied by Fred Forest. However we never connected or saw each other as the one and only time I paddled by his location, he was in the tent.
View from the chosen north-eastern most campsite on Proulx Lake.
The next day I headed out for some paddling. Here's the mouth of the Koko River .. a gaggle of Canada Geese framing the entrance.
I saw over a dozen moose on the trip. Here's a cow moose wading the shore with her two dutifully calves in tow.
The mother moose slowly disappeared up the bank, abandoning her young ones. I could hear them sorrowfully ‘mewing’ for her.
I just watched them from my stationary floating position off shore. Cute little buggers! They finally managed to get up over the shoreline obstructions and to make their way loudly through the undergrowth to her position.
I caught a few brookies, which were all released. Then I headed back to the campsite and explored a few overgrown trails in the woods behind the campsite and up a creek ravine for a ways.
The second night’s dinner was bbq’ed sausage and French fries.
The next morning was more of the same. This time, with fish on the menu, I kept a pair of small ones for a shore lunch.
After lunch, I broke down camp and headed up a swollen Crow River to spend two nights on Big Crow Lake. After a little over an hour of navigating through a meandering but very picturesque Crow River I made it to Little Crow Lake, where I saw another four moose.
As I paddled quickly through Little Crow L. to Big Crow L., the skies became quite dark and a bit of drizzle began falling.
Big Crow Lake was calm. I threw out a line and caught and released a little 17” laker.
Looking back up north-west to Crow Lake's far shoreline.
I selected the north campsite, closest to the Crow River. It was bordered by a nice extended sandy beach.
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